Learning through practice: Models, Traditions, Orientations and Approaches

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Title Learning through practice: Models, Traditions, Orientations and Approaches
Author Billett, Stephen Richard
Editor Stephen Billett
Year Published 2010
Place of publication Germany
Publisher Springer
Abstract There is a growing interest in practice-based learning in countries with both advanced and developing economies. Much of this interest is directed towards augmenting students' learning within vocational or higher education programs of initial occupational preparation or those for professional development (i.e., further development of occupational knowledge across working life). Of course, the worth of contributions from practice settings and experiences with authentic instances of occupational practice has been long acknowledged in the major professions and trades. Indeed, most trades and professions have a requirement for individuals to engage in an extensive period of practice prior to being accepted as a tradesperson or professional. Yet, there is now a growing interest in occupationally specific higher education programs of all kinds now providing these kinds of experiences for novice practitioners, which makes the contributions of this book important. Yet, beyond their use in initial occupational preparation, there is a wider set of considerations about the utility of practice-based experiences for the promotion of ongoing development across working life. In particular, occupational practice and experiences in practice settings are now being used as a vehicle for professional development and, increasingly in educational processes organised by universities, technical colleges, and professional bodies, which are promoting practice settings and activities as sites and the focus for learning experiences. Hence, at this time, there is a wide and growing interest in the kinds of learning experiences provided in practice settings - usually workplaces or work settings - which are essential for developing the knowledge required to effectively practice occupations. Hence, the fresh views about and appraisals of what we know about practice settings, and how these might be progressed to secure effective outcomes for learners advanced through the contributions of this edited volume are timely and most welcomed. Through these contributions, this book explores ways in which learning through practice can be conceptualised, enacted, and appraised through an elaboration of the kinds of traditions, purposes, and processes that support this learning. This includes curriculum models and pedagogic practices that support these purposes. These elaborations are advanced through the two sections of this book: Conceptual premises of learning through practice, and Instances of practice. The contributions across these two sections stand to both redress the limitations in existing premises and inform ways forward, conceptually and procedurally. Often, in both initial occupational preparation and professional development, practice-based experiences are seen as merely an adjunct to an educational provision that is organised and structured in colleges or universities or through programs offered by professional bodies and other agencies, rather than experiences that are both legitimate and effective in their own right. Such is the association between rich learning and educational institutions that practice-based experiences are often seen as being both posterior and inferior to those provided through educational institutions and programs. However, it is important that the qualities, processes, and outcomes of learning through practice are appraised: understood, utilised, and critically evaluated on their own terms, rather than as being positioned as merely augmenting those provided by educational institutions. This is because they have particular attributes and make salient contributions to learning processes. Appraisals of these kinds are advanced by the different perspectives and contributions within this edited volume. What they show is how the processes and outcomes of learning occurring through experiences outside of those institutions progress, and propose curriculum models and pedagogies suited to practice settings that can support that learning
Peer Reviewed No
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.springerlink.com
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-3939-2
ISBN 978-90-481-3938-5
Date Accessioned 2010-10-05
Language en_AU
Research Centre Griffith Institute for Educational Research
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Education
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/34597
Publication Type Books (Edited)
Publication Type Code a3

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